February 1st, 2018

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Weekly Update
Date: February 1st, 2018


As the district had a full day professional development day this week, I have asked Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum and Human Resources, Janet Sheehan, to share some information below about professional development within the Milton Public Schools.

Milton Public Schools educators greatly appreciate the professional development opportunities that are afforded through early release and full professional days during the school year. The link between high quality professional development and excellence in teaching and learning is well documented in educational research. While teachers and administrators continually participate in courses, conferences, and workshops to maintain currency in best practices, designated days for professional development provide collaborative professional growth experiences that are aligned with state and district goals for overall school improvement.  

Parents may ask themselves – What do MPS educators do on these days that require parents/guardians to make special arrangements for their children? Read more about Elementary PD this past week, specifics about PD at Pierce Middle School and details about the recent professional development at Milton High School.  


Dr. Ruth Potee will be speaking at MHS on February 8th 6:30pm. Don’t miss this fascinating presentation by Dr. Potee, a nationally recognized pediatrician and expert on youth risk-taking behavior, who provides parents with practical information on how to prevent their children from abusing alcohol and drugs. Her dynamic presentations help adults to understand the maturing adolescent brain to help safeguard our children’s well-being and promote healthy decision-making. With teen substance use and depression being a growing community concern, this is a must-see informative presentation.  

Before Dr Potee speaks, be sure to visit the exhibit “Hidden in Plain Sight”, which shows the clever hiding spots that kids use to hide their secret activities.  Every parent should be aware of them.  “Hidden in Plain Sight” will be in the MHS foyer from 6-6:30pm.


The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers whose mission is to identify students with exceptional artistic and literary talent and present their remarkable work to the world through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Through the Awards, students receive opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication, and scholarships. Teens in grades 7-12 from public, private, or home schools can apply in 29 categories of art and writing for their chance to earn scholarships and have their works exhibited and published. Congratulations to our MHS students who have been recognized for their excellence!


The Take Five Room is a space at Milton High School that was created to provide students with a safe, supportive environment to relieve stress, take a proactive break, regulate emotions, and connect with an adjustment counselor for additional support. Within the space, students have the opportunity to utilize several different tools that are used for stress relief and are using the time to better prepare themselves to return to the classroom. This space was created 3 years ago and was made possible by the generous financial support of BID-Milton Hospital as well as the MFE. Each year, the two adjustment counselors whose offices are located within the Take Five Room continue to grow the space and the services offered based on the needs of the student population. Any student is able to access the space and it is very rare to see the room empty.


Winner Gus Greene and Runner Up J.P. Haber

Last Friday Pierce held the 12th Annual School-wide Geography Bee. The action on the stage kept the audience on edge of their  seats, as they waited for the champion to emerge.  Ms. Connell questioned 15 students throughout two class periods before 8th grader, Gus Greene emerged as the 2018 Geography Bee winner and 7th grader  J.P. Haber as the Runner Up.

It was an impressive victory and a fun morning for all involved. The fifteen contestants ( Lucy Hollingsworth-Hays, Jack Best, Taylor Xu, Hoa Tong, Marc Leimkuehler, Moses Mann, Catie Lacasse, Cole Humphrey, Emily King, KJ Beckett, Dexter Gordon, J.P. Haber, Anderson Korman, Ryan Higgins, and Gus Greene) won in their classes, then for their team before entering the school-wide bee. Their knowledge was impressive and poise under pressure noticed by all. Gus will take a National Geographic Test to determine if he qualifies for the Massachusetts State Geography Bee later this Spring. Good Luck, Gus!


Pierce Middle School was recently visited by representatives from the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education [DESE]. The Department is making visits to schools across the Commonwealth to learn how to make their resources more accessible and useful and to learn how DESE can better serve schools across the state. The day included visits to classrooms, meeting with the Pierce Leadership Team, a focus group with teachers, and a focus group with student leaders. Our visitors, Senior Associate Commissioner Heather Peske and Director of Strategy and Integration, Ron Noble were extremely impressed with all that is happening at Pierce Middle School. They were especially impressed with our peer leaders. Members of the Pierce Student Council, Anti-Defamation League peer leaders, and student leaders, who were trained by DOVE this past summer shared their insights about the Pierce Middle School. When asked what is the best thing about Pierce Middle School, they unanimously agreed- their teachers!  


What’s happening in the Tucker art room? Students at Tucker (at right) showed their visual story in the style of African American artist Faith Ringgold. Ringgold is famous for her story quilts using fabric and other mixed media. These Kindergarteners used mixed media to describe a favorite moment spent with their  family, adding a “quilted border” as a connection to Ringgold’s famous book Tar Beach.   


At Glover our Kindergarteners are loving their new Osmos provided by a recent MFE teacher grant. The K team uses Osmo to create and practice word building during literacy centers and apply number sense knowledge during math centers using the numbers and Tangrams apps. Thank you to the MFE for these awesome new classroom tools!


February school vacation camps – East and West – are currently open for registration.  


Feb 7    Milton School Committee 7pm
Feb 7    Thurgood 7pm, MHS Auditorium
Feb 8    PARENT Speaker – Dr Ruth Potee 6:30 MHS Auditorium
Feb 13  K-8th Math Night for Parents/Guardians at Pierce 6:30-8pm
Feb 15  MHS Caberet
Feb 19  February Recess begins
Feb 26  School Resumes
Feb 28  Milton School Committee 7pm
Mar 1    Grade 5 Information Night 6:30 PM Pierce Auditorium
Mar 3    Minority Educators Job Fair  9:30am -12:30 pm MHS Field House
Mar 6    First Grade Information Night 6:30 pm at MHS   


Thurgood is coming to MHS on Wednesday, February 7th at 7pm. Featuring local actor Johnny Lee Davenport as Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American to sit on the Supreme Court, Thurgood spans Marshall’s impressive career as a lawyer, arguing such landmark cases as Brown v. Board of Education.  Admission is free, Thurgood is a 90 minute, one-man show with no intermission. MHS Juniors will see the show during the day. Thank you to Courageous Conversations,  MPACE and Milton tax payers who donate through their excise taxes for making these productions available to our students and community. 

K-8 Math Night for Parents/Guardians – Do you ever wonder how can you support your child at home? Or how is learning math different from when you went to school? Then Math Night is for you! Join MPS educators on February 13th at 6:30pm at Pierce for an interactive evening where you attend sessions that interest YOU! We want to plan for attendees so please sign up here.  

Join your friends at Cunningham for the Cunningham Diversity Night on Feb 15th at 7pm.  It will be an exciting evening learning more about the cultures of Cunningham families and engaging in some fun activities! 


Winters in New England can be difficult and weather events can be unpredictable. As I wrote in a recent post, cancelling or delaying school is a difficult decision to make. Please be mindful that bad weather during the morning commute can impact bus schedules and town wide traffic. In a response to parent/guardian feedback, we are developing a better system for more timely notification of late busses and will share details in the coming week. During inclement weather, please plan extra time and extra patience as we navigate New England winters together.


Internet Essentials from Comcast offers low-cost Internet service, discounted computer equipment and free digital literacy training to families with at least one child eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program.  Continue reading about this valuable program here. 


Milton SEPAC will host Linda Perry, MA of Avalanche Advocacy Agency, Inc. for a discussion about raising kids with behavioral challenges on February 13th  at  7pm at the Glover Library. This event is free and open to the public. 


Registration for the Spring 2018 session is now OPEN, so please take a look at our courses and sign up.  Many of the offerings have a maximum number of allowed students, so please register early to ensure your placement.  Questions?  Please email Sara Warner.


Dr. Karen Spaulding, Principal, speaker Jon Mattleman, and District SEL Facilitator Laurie Stillman.

Our recent PARENT Speaker Series speaker Jon Mattelman proved valuable to both parents/guardians and educators who heard Mr Matteleman’s interactive presentation during our recent PD day.  

Our 7th and 8th grade students also attended a school day presentation by Minding your Mind and were engaged and interested to hear Jon Burgwin’s story. Jon is a college student who speaks to students about his struggle with drugs and alcohol.  


If you or your child (4 and up)has not yet received a flu shot, you can still make an appointment with Susan Poirier, Public Health Nurse at Milton Town Hall on Tue or Wed by appointment to receive your flu vaccine. Please call Susan at 1-617-898-4884 for an appt and please bring your insurance card. Town Hall is open until 5pm.


The School Committee recently approved the 2018 MPS Health and Wellness Policy. All are invited to review it.


Believe it or not, it is time to start thinking about Milton Summer Enrichment (MSE) 2018! We are looking forward to a fun-filled summer with your children. This letter will serve as the first of many communications in the upcoming months about MSE, and contains important information about our program. You can read the full MSE letter here


For the first time in history, the number of Latino, African-American, and Asian students in K-12 public school classrooms is expected to exceed the number of non-Hispanic, white students, but the racial and ethnic makeup of our country’s teaching staff does not reflect this shift. There is a shortage of African American, Hispanic and Latino, Native American, and Asian educators, and the South Shore Minority Educator Recruitment Fair  helps to encourage those individuals to pursue a career in education.

During the event, hosted by MPS at The Copeland Field House at MHS on Saturday, March 3, from 9:30am – 12:30pm, representatives from South Shore public school districts will meet with potential employees in an effort to find the most qualified minority teacher and administrator candidates. Resumes will be accepted at the event, applications will be distributed, and interviews will be held. 


MPS preschool teacher Marybeth Callahan shared this video by Renee Metty who is the director of The Cove School in Seattle. Ms Callahan is currently participating in the  Mindful Schools Year-Long Certification Program. The video is example of what mindful teaching and teaching mindfulness looks like in a preschool setting and the practices that Ms Callahan is bringing to MPS preschool.  


There are many great programs for teens at the Milton Public Library this month.

Be sure to check out the programs for kids happening at the MPL next week.

Girls K-5 – Grab your favorite (adult) dance partner and join the Girl Scouts for their Sweetheart Dance on Friday, March 9th.

Town spring sports will be starting soon! Register for Softball, Field Hockey, Baseball (Nat League) , Baseball (Amer League)  and Lacrosse before it’s too late.

Looking for good deals on gear for your spring sports? Head to Cunningham Hall on Saturday, Feb 3rd from 9am-12pm and pick up some bargains at the MNLL Cooperstown Team’s Gently Used Sports Equipment sale.


Sports Schedules for MHS teams 

Back Row; Bridget Mitchell, Brian Scalabrine, Josh Madden, and Rich Fernandez.  Front Row; Chae Diani, Ella Affanato, Elise O’Leary, Clodagh Corcoran, Genevieve Connelly, and Bobby Carew.

Big news for many of our athletes this week! Milton High School Student-Athletes were honored at the Annual Patriot Ledger All-Scholastic Lunch at Lombardo’s in Randolph on Sunday, January 28th.  Former Celtics Forward, Brian Scalabrine was the keynote speaker.  Thank you to BID-Milton and President Rich Fernandez for sponsoring the event.  Not pictured: Haley O’Brien, Jeanmarie Fallon, Patrick Fitzgerald, Eddie Hassell, William Crowley,

In addition, Bridget Mitchell (2nd from right)was named Patriot Ledger Athlete-of-the-Year for her excellent Cross Country Season! She was honored along with the other Athletes of the Year, and former Celtic forward, Brian Scalabrine.


It is that time of year again! Milton High School students are participating in the Boosters’ Annual Calendar Sales. The sale started today, Thursday, February 1st and will run through Tuesday, February 27th.  Be on the lookout for the sale of these calendars and reach out to any MHS Athlete to purchase.  All money raised goes right back into the MHS Athletic Program.


Let’s help the boys Soccer Team raise some money!


MHS Boys Soccer will be hosting a Cans for Cats event on Saturday,February 3, 2018 from 9:00-12:00 at MHS. The event will benefit MHS Boys Soccer Team. Let’s help the team raise some money and recycle our cans  at the same time! 




The Milton High School Athletic Hall of Fame Committee needs you!  As we look to induct our  2019 HOF class we need your nominations of outstanding athletes for our 2019 ceremony. If you have an athlete, coach, team or supporter to nominate, please complete this form and email it to Billy Donovan or print and mail this form to Billy Donovan, MHS, 25 Gile Rd Milton MA 02186.


As part of our E-blast, we highlight students, teachers and members of the community whose hard work deserves recognition.  Please read about some of their outstanding accomplishments below:

Students: Congratulations to former Project 351 Ambassador Dominique Thomas who  was selected to serve as an alumni leader to 8th graders on their service day last weekend. Dominque served as Milton’s Project 351 Ambassador last year and executed many public service projects during her year of service and she continues to be involved as an alumni.  I would also like to recognize Pierce 8th grader Mary Kate Mylod who will serve as Milton’s Project 351 Representative in the coming year. We look forward to supporting Mary Kate’s service projects on behalf of Project 351. 

Staff:  I want to recognize our Elementary Math Coaches Mary Shapiro and Maura Middleton whose positions are a result of the successful override vote. Tucker Asst. Principal Cat DesRoche shares that she observes in both Ms Shapiro and Ms Middleton  a commitment to supporting teachers in complex math instruction using manipulatives, centers and higher order thinking.  Through conversations among staff as well as those observed between students, it is clear we are elevating the understanding of the many applications of math. Our Math Coaches also assist teachers in data analysis and lesson preparation to support teachers in ensuring students are appropriately prepared for increasing demands and recently led a great math presentation for our Tucker families. We are lucky to have Ms Shapiro and Ms Middleton in all four of our elementary schools each week.

Volunteers: The Milton Foundation for Education is an integral partner to the Milton Public Schools and we appreciate the time and effort these individuals give on behalf of our students.  At the December MFE meeting five new board members were voted in, each of whom has shown a passion and dedication to our community and our children. The MFE Board now consists of the following members; Courtney Affanato, Hank Bell, Tami Carpenter, Bithiah Carter, Leslie Collins, Jeanne Conley, Julie Cosgrove, Caroline Dodero, Margaret Eberhardt, Greg Gordon, Will Korman, Pete McLoughlin, Angie Rue Van Allen, Karly Rizzo, Ray Sambrano, Rachel Schewe, Allen Schweitzer, Liddie Sutter, Nora Vernazza, Karyn Viveiros, Erika Vogel, MaryJane Walsh, and Ben Zoll. On behalf of the Milton Public Schools, please join me in thanking the board of the MFE.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week:  Bernadette Moonan, James Jette, Cat DesRoche, Dr Karen Spaulding, Karen Hughes, Barbara Wright, Karen McDavitt, Barbara Wright, Magda Cupidon, Ryan Madden, Michelle Kruezer, AJ Melanson, Jen Grubler, Jean Scarborough, Will Korman, Noel Vigue, Marybeth Callahan, Jess Gillooly, Laurie Stillman, Sara Warner, Billy Donovan and Janet Sheehan.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors.  The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:  Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, 617-696-4812.

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